Tuesday, 19 June, 2018

India stand firm against disciplined Proteas

Fans will be hoping for play to resume soon Fans will be hoping for play to resume soon
Cassandra Gardner | 07 January, 2018, 00:53

South Africa, which was 3-12 and in similar trouble at the start of the day, battled its way to 286 all out in its first innings.

Dale Steyn marked his long-awaited return to global cricket with a wicket as India ended day one of the first Test three down, losing Virat Kohli cheaply after Bhuvneshwar Kumar helped bowl South Africa out.

Du Plessis' exit was greeted by a running, fist-pumping celebration by India captain Virat Kohli.

After the end of day's play, South Africa's batting coach Dale Benkenstein praised De Villiers for that attack on Bhuvneshwar and said that over "changed the game".

Kumar's exploitation of the swing and seam movement on a green Newlands pitch left South Africa - which gambled and chose to bat first in the series-opener - on 230-7 at tea.

Benkenstein praised "the class and genius of AB de Villiers and the tenacity of the captain".

Just as the Proteas had recovered from losing three wickets in nearly no time at all, De Villiers was clean bowled by debutant Jasprit Bumrah for 65, which came off 84 balls and included 11 boundaries.

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India's early impetus was ended by a 114-run partnership for the fourth wicket between De Villiers and Du Plessis, who attacked the Indian bowlers and punished loose deliveries.

"When AB bats you know you have to bowl well".

Dean Elgar, South Africa's leading batsman during 2017, edged the third ball of the match to be caught behind by Wriddhiman Saha for nought.

Benkenstein, though, said South Africa were "very happy" after their four-man pace attack was unleashed for the last 51 minutes of play.

But India's hopes of earning a first-innings lead were dented as Murali Vijay (1) fell to Vernon Philander and Shikhar Dhawan (16) was caught and bowled by Steyn as the quick finally resumed a Test career derailed by injury.

Former Indian cricketer Ajay Jadeja feels the first Test against South Africa, starting in the friendly conditions of Cape Town will provide India the best chance to record a win in the three-match series. The De Villiers-Du Plessis partnership was followed by a sixth wicket stand of 60 off 54 balls from Quinton de Kock and Philander, and there were useful contributions from the tailenders.

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